Archive for August, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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Well, this sunny day is the last one in August .. .a new month starts tomorrow!

Today I played around in the garden .. I’ve given up on the tomatoes!   I’d pruned them right back about a month ago and they’ve grown into giants.   So I’ll let them be.  There is still quite a bit of warm weather ahead .. so perhaps I’ll garner a lot of tomatoes.

There are quite a variety of shapes, ranging from clusters of tiny cherry tomatoes to large green pepper shapes.

And I see small cucumbers and zucchini fruits taking shape.

There are a few little ears of corn, fingers crossed that the neighbourhood racoon will ignore these!

The potato plants .. omg .. they just keep on growing and growing .. .I’m just a little impatient . .waiting till they vegetation dies back so I can dig these beauties up!

Finally finished the gravel .. all is done .. and everything looks lovely.

There is still lots to do in the yard.  Pruning the lilac trees.  Weeding.  Creating new little garden areas.  I’m making steady progress.

I’ve put the call in for more “Miracle Mulch” .. just waiting to hear from the owner about delivery .. and then I can start distributing this beautiful product throughout the yard.

Tonight my lovely gardening neighbour gave me a quantity of tiny tomatoes, with instructions on how to prepare them for seeds .. which I can plant next spring!

Spent a lovely few minutes today watching the antics of the local Anna’s.   Twirling in the air .. chirping like mad.  Looked cute, but really, there was a clash of territorial conduct going on.

Yesterday I found the sweetest little fluffy feather of Anna that was stuck on one of the little landing bars of the h/bird feeder.  How special is that.

Later on I found the tiniest feather also .. must also be a h/bird feather .. I do believe.

Hmm .. and these represent good luck .. very special items.

We took time out for Won Ton Wednesday .. delicious down to the last drop.  Dak makes the absolute best Won Ton soup!!!    At the famous Dakota Cafe.

Yesterday’s Coronation Street was very poignant.   In that show, Jack Duckworth passed away, he’d been ill.  The show was done very well .. in his passing scene .. the real Vera was there, and there was a scene where they were talking to each other as they used to do.  And then they danced.  It brought tears to my eyes, very very well done.

Kudos to Granada, I’ve noticed that the past two weeks filming was very realistic.  Wonder if they have finally decided to devote more time to the direction and less to the impetus to gain rating statistics!   Even though, here in Canada, we are about 8 months behind.   Next Monday, we start having hour-long shows .. and hopefully this will last for a long time so we won’t be so far behind!

So .. another lovely day, a variety of activities.  I’m nicely tired.  Time to relax.

Up early tomorrow for another activity filled day!


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Wednesday, August 30, 2011

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The day started off as overcast .. and now the skies are sunny!   Time to get going and shovel the rest of that gravel and wander around the yard.  We’ve been away for a little bit and I miss seeing all the plants and the birdies!

Sigh .. still reliving my sailplane flights from the weekend!   Plan to go for another one soon!   A little disappointed in the clarity of the photos taken with my camera though.   I think that I’ll take fewer photos next flight.

It was such a unique experience … to settle back in the sailplane and watch the world twirl by!  I felt as if I was being held safely in the arms of the wind, being gently carried high up in the sky as we flew around over the lakes below.

Matt was my glider pilot on Sunday.   This young man will be flying all over the world.  Very professional, highly qualified,  both in powered and the sailplane.   You can just tell quality in a person by their actions and he fills the bill.   Some lucky airline will hire him and he will go very far.

Anyway, I hadn’t been in a sailplane for many many years and so I was filled with such happiness & didn’t quite know how to express that.

I would have zhagareeted ( a dance call in middle eastern dance) .. however, I thought that would be too loud in an enclosed space.

So instead, I simply asked Matt if any of his female passengers ever told him that they love him?  No was the response.

At which time I said “I love you, Matt”    So we had a good laugh at that .. and I just let myself relax and enjoy the flight.  Gazed in wonder at the magic of the flight, enjoying the marvellous feeling of simply being in the air, watching the mountains sail past.

It was such a wonderful place to be … quite addictive actually.  I look so forward to dh & I flying in our own 2-seater .. up high in the sky for hours and hours as we thermal in the air.

For a look at a flight .. here is  a video Andrzej Rozmowski’s (the owner and Transport Canada certified instructor), taped by Nanaimo cable tv:  http://visc.wqs.ca/?page=home  This excellent video shows a guy and a gal each going for a flight.  He is nervous and she is very excited .. so you see the yin and the yang of flying.

And here is the contact info for Andrzej:  http://visc.wqs.ca/?page=contact

What an amazing experience .. one not to be missed.   Thinking about the flights and comparing this to a positive mental shift, as that found in meditation.  Hey, these were aerial meditation experiences!  Uplifting in every way.  Transcendental.

However, back to earth now …the reality is that I’m about to go to the garden.  But .. .my mind will be thinking of the 2 flights that I just had.


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Monday,  August 29, 2011

Today was another day of sheer bliss!

The early morning started out with a mix of sun and cloud .. and soon the sun took over!

We went to the Alberni airport .. met up with the sailplane instructor and made  our way to our set-up place for the day!

Another day in the presence of authentic, professional, dedicated flyers!  It did my heart good to be amongst such a truly motivated group of individuals!

An enjoyable day spent in watching take-offs and landings!

Some time spent in watching for bears .. a big one was heard in the nearby bushes .. so I didn’t exactly relax in my gravity chair!

The entire day seemed timeless … a day spent in relaxing, watching, taking photos.  Reading yet another amazing novel by Elizabeth George!!  (One I’d read years ago .. and had forgotten some of the incredible subtle plots .. how delicious!)

This was an old-fashioned day.  The kind where time stops.  One doesn’t have to rush here and there .. or make an appointment .. or anything at all.  Just relax.  Feel the wind and the sun.   Wave away the wasps.   Marvel at the leaps of the grasshoppers.

Admire the variety of aircraft that fly in to the airport.   Study the flowers and trees that have thrived in the heat.

Then .. near the end of the day .. it’s time for me to indulge in another sailplane flight!

Yesterday was such a rush .. it had been quite a few years since I’d experienced the magic of a sailplane ride and it was very exciting to be soaring through the air .. felt as if I was in a big clear bubble of air, soaring over the countryside.

Today I enjoyed seeing the excitement of people going for their first every flight!   And loved hearing their happy conversations as they got out of the sailplane … so fired up with their experience and wanting to fly again!

And what a way to end my day there today … by going up for another flight!  Sheer bliss!    Secure in the confidence of the pilot (as yesterday, also!!)  I just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful scenery .. I recorded as much as possible.  Yesterday my camera ran out of battery power .. so I was able to enjoy the balance of my flight.

Today I turned the camera on and off and mostly just snuggled down to enjoy the magic carpet ride through the air.  Seeing Sprout Lake and the infamous Martin Mars tied up below.

Great Central Lake (an offshoot of Sproat Lake).  Stamp Lake and the magnificent falls.

Does life get much better than this?


Down to earth .. dh begins the long trek home.  We stop off at a restaurant for a light supper and then, finally, home sweet home!

Kitty kats are happy to see us!  A cuddle, some good tinned food to augment their diet!  A quick tidying up of their litter boxes and soon life is back to normal.

Oh, happy days!!


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Sunday, August 29, 2011

Up early again .. another hot sunny day.

Went downstairs to breakfast in our lovely B & B .. what a feast .. I’ll take a pic tomorrow!

Dainty containers of fresh fruit salad, chilled decanters of a variety of juices, homemade granola, home-baked muffins, scones, yogurt … such a treat!!

Then off to the airport again and a day of flying. 

What a magnificent day.  And I enjoyed it to the hilt!  I’d been working rather industriously at home for the past few weeks and it was such a decadent pleasure to just relax in our gravity chairs beneath our patio umbrella and read.  And chase away wasps!

Did a lot of photo taking and filming!

Watched ants (there are millions here) scurrying to their assortment of ant-homes.   Wondered what place in the evolution chain they adhere to?

Watched a multitude of grasshoppers (or maybe they were crickets?) hopping all over the place.  Maybe there was a convention?

And the wasps!  They were just everywhere.  I couldn’t see any vegetation that they would be interested in .. yet there they were flying low over the ground.  Thankfully sometimes they would be elsewhere and that was a relief!

Spent a lot of time just enjoying the quiet and peaceful surroundings.

Until several people started recounting bear stories.  How there are a lot of them around.  And gave examples.   One account described sighting about 30 turkey vultures, each sitting atop their own fence post .. wings held out to warm in the sun.   Nearby were several bear cubs .. and the mother was sighted gathering up a deer’s carcass and throwing it over the fence … food for the family!

Then I decided to go for a long walk.  During which I heard some noises in nearby brush .. some heavy walking amongst the branches.  Hmmm… bear sprung to mind … I continued on my way and awhile later, finished my walk.  Recounted the noises that I’d heard and was told that there most likely was a bear there.

This was confirmed a few hours later .. when the bear was sighted running across the runway.


So tonight we drove around Port Alberni ..looking for a good stop for supper .. and found a lovely little cafe .. where we enjoyed a delicious old-fashioned meal (the kind with homemade cheese sauce on carrots!) De-lee-shus!!

Great ending to a wonderful day!!!

Looking forward to another one tomorrow!!


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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wow .. this has been quite the day, especially for a Saturday!   Up bright and early .. packed and on our way up-island early on this day!  Traffic is light .. yeah .. best time to travel is early in the day!

This is our mini-holiday and we are enjoying the heck out of it! 

Not much traffic on the Malahat .. thank goodness .. I dread driving on that section of the highway.

We finally reach our destination.   Eventually check into our lovely B & B.  Quiet and tranquil.  Air conditioning and jet tub!!!  Heaven.

We then travel to our destination for the aviation part of our getaway.

So I’m taking pictures and videos and battling the wasps.   Relaxing and trying to read and Sudoku while trying to remain calm and ignore the horrid creatures.

Enjoying relaxing in the sun.  Watching aviation … loving the peace and quiet.   Looking forward to another few days of the same.

This is so fun and a lovely break from the everyday!


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Friday, August 26, 2011

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Beautiful sunny hot day ..started off at the Dakota Cafe.   Time to tackle some overgrown plants.  Marjoram in particular.  It had grown into a giant bush.   Fully laden with tiny white flowers which the bees loved .. so I had to wait till the flowers were all gone before attacking it.  Trimming it way down, low to the ground.

And I welcomed the opportunity to use my new watering wand from Lee Valley.  The aluminum one with brass fittings.  Light as a feather and watered everything fully.  Glad to see that the hardy heat-loving herbs are doing well.  Tough little plants.   And they have grown immensely in the past 3 years.    They started off as little 4″ plants and now are 2 to 3 feet in height and width!  Tenacity!

Took a little break for breakfast .. my favourite sandwich in a bun and a pot of tea.   Relaxed and watched the skies as I munched away & sipped on my tea.

What a view!  Vistas of sky, mountains, planes!  Two hawks flying and fluttering high up in the skies.

Colourful planes & helicopters caught my attention.

Finally .. back to weeding and watering.

A happy morning.

Then back home and the shopping  and “this and that” have taken up hours.  And I just want to go outside and play.

Which I will do shortly.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

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Hot and sunny … way to go!  Spent a few hours this morning digging away at the remainder of the gravel section!  More positive comments from neighbours passing by, so that feels good.

Stopped for a few minutes to watch the neighbours cats playing away .. chasing leaves that bounced along the roadway.   Hadn’t noticed the tabby was sitting close by until I stood up and (s)he raced across the road.

Tranquil moments, playing with the gravel sifting the stones from the soil that had gathered around it for the past 20 years.   Rejuvenation!

Time disappeared as I worked with the pickax to loosen another section and shovelled some scoops onto the sifting stand.  Starting to look good!  And I’ve filled a number of Rubbermaid containers with this sifted soil and will spread over the grassy section, where I scattered the grass seed.  Will be interesting to see if this seed grows .. I found the store receipt from 1996!!

This work is always so conducive to a freeing up of energy.  I get caught up in the  monotony of the repeated work .. which frees up my mind and I relax into a meditative type of state.  Very relaxing.   And very creative.

I enjoy these mornings, working away in the newness of the day.  Listening to the chirps of the birds as they go about their days.

I wonder if they sit down and have regular Monday morning meetings, agendas all drawn up.  Time lines listed on charts.   Each taking their turn to pompously stand up and list their achievements, past and present.

Nah, birds would never do that.  They are free spirits.  Existing in the now (as Cesar often says!)  Flying here and there.  Singing.  Enjoying every second of life and the beauty that is in their worlds.

Ok .. lunch done & tea finished . .time to go outside for the final chapter on the gravel.


Worked diligently during the hot afternoon and slowly made progress with the soil/weed encrusted gravel.

Eventually I reached the point where sufficient gravel had been dug up, and sifted!  Time to move the soil to the grassy area & the gravel to the parking area.  Then all that was left to do was tidy up, fold the tarp.  Move the sifting station and the parking area was all neat and tidy.

I managed to obtain a large amount of soil from the sifted gravel and most of this I moved to the area where I’d planted the grass seed yesterday.  Tomorrow I’ll spread the soil around and give the area a little water.  And then wait to see if the seed will grow.

Then I decided to water the freshly weeded garden area by the parking area.   Surprised to see that the watering wand wouldn’t shut off.  Oh, no .. this is my first replacement of the Lee Valley variable watering guide, long-handled, watering wand.

I’d originally purchased the original one a year ago.  It worked fine till about a month ago, when the spring activated handle refused to cooperate.  So I returned to LV for a replacement.  And today, all of a sudden, the same problem.

So I returned to LV .. and exchanged this wand for an aluminum/brass one, just a few dollars more.   No adjustable watering choices, but it is very light and does a wonderful job of watering.   And very easy to turn on and off, via a loopy switch on the handle.  This wand came with a 1″ watering rose and I purchased the 2″ rose for the wider watering purposes.

I’m really quite pleased with this wand and tried it out as soon as I came back home.  My newest gardening tool and I love it to bits!!  If I want a jet stream to clear out some soil on the concrete, I’ll just quickly change the head and use the brass adjustable waterer.  thingy.  whatever!  Names!

I’m very pleased with my progress today!  Lots of hard work and just wonderful results!

Tomorrow I’ll visit Dakota Cafe and will do a quick clip of some of the plants and a thorough watering.   And thinking of new plants to add!!

Then, home and playing around in the garden.

What a marvellous life!!  I feel so very fortunate to be living my dream of gardening every single day!


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